Probiotics and Your Sleep
Probiotics have been all the rage in Europe and Asia for years, but only recently has that idea taken off in America. If you’ve tried probiotics for your digestive track, then you can attest to their immune-boosting potential, but recent studies show they can also help with everything from respiratory infections to your sleep life. That’s right, if you haven’t been sleeping well, then adding probiotics can help you get the sleep you’ve been craving by allowing you to fall asleep quicker. Here’s how it works.
Your gut contains thousands of good bacteria that help aid in your digestion process and fight off disease. Probiotics are live microorganisms that mimic the thousands of good bacteria in your gut. Two of the most common types of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Though there is still a lot to learn about these probiotics, a recent European study shows a positive correlation between these two types of bacteria and sleep duration of infants following maternal anxiety while in the womb. When probiotics were given to infants, they developed a more mature sleep pattern. The research is an example of a positive step to using probiotics to treat sleep disorders.
So how does it work? The probiotics help to regulate neurotransmitters and hormones that play a role in helping you fall asleep. Probiotics help release an amino acid, called tryptophan, which helps turn serotonin into melatonin and can help you nod off to sleep. It also helps to lower your cortisol levels which can be upped due to chronic stress. All of these hormones help your body regulate your circadian rhythms and let your biological clock tell you when to start feeling sleepy and when to wake up.
By adding probiotics to your diet, you can, in turn, help your body fall asleep faster. You can find probiotics in yogurt, certain soft cheeses, Miso soup, Kefir, Sourdough Bread, Soybeans and as a vitamin supplement. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of adding probiotics to your diet as they may not work the same for everyone.
Taking the time to add beneficial bacteria to your sleep routine can help you get more sleep and help your body to fight off infections and boost your immunity. Who knew such a tiny microscopic organism could play such a large role in your sleep routine.
Probiotics in, lights out!